Alright, I’ll admit it. Patience is one of those things for me that has been a constant area of attention and growth. To be blunt, I don’t seem to have vast stores of the stuff!
So how does one go about developing this often vital trait? What steps can we take and more importantly, do we have enough patience to walk them? Well, just because I’m an optimist, I’m going to say that yes, everyone has a bit of patience in the bank account to work with. So how do we become “rich” in patience?
Well, like any patience “poor” person would, I’d like to cut to the chase. To develop patience you need to “be”. Just “be”. This is in fact one of the hardest things for a human “being”, as we are much more comfortable “doing”. Unfortunately, to “be” one cannot “do” anything.
Imagine this applied to a horse. What would it look like if you didn’t “do” anything to this horse? Well, perhaps you would just sit there in the paddock, maybe walk about, perhaps the horse comes over and nudges you. What does this behaviour remind you of? If you said another horse, you’re right. Animals are always just “being, which is exactly why they are so patient with us. They don’t have an appointment to go to, or an expectation of what their ride should look like or how their lesson should go. They aren’t worried about what’s going to happen, or feel guilty or regretful about what already did. They’re just right here and now, “being”, all the time. So who’s the evolved one now?
Here’s my suggestion. Next time you’re needing a little help with patience remember the animals and follow their lead…
1) Breathe – If you stop, you die, sooner or later. It’s that important. As the only automatic quality of the body that we can easily change and alter (it’s difficult for most of us to raise or lower our heart rate or digestive function consciously, although it can be done!), breathing is a way of connecting to the deeper, more subconscious aspects of the body-mind, and therefore to relaxation and peace of mind – all highly important in the act of staying present and be-coming patient.
2) Relax – Tension and stress creates all sorts of discomfort and imbalances. See if you can relax every single muscle in your body and keep them relaxed even when things are happening in your life that could be perceived as stressful.
3) Clear your mind – see how long you can go with an “open” mind. When a thought comes in, just notice (without judging) and return to your breathing and focus.
4) No worries – expectations, agendas, schedules and limiting beliefs are only holding you back from being patient and peaceful. If you are able to let go of your worry, life is much more simple and peaceful and you’re in no rush. Start to notice what drives your worry, bringing awareness and healing to these often old, outdated patterns.
5) Less is more – we often rush though life, forcing things and believing that we are getting more done, when in truth we are achieving less in the long run. Sometimes the smallest thing done with patience and understanding can be the most profound and can build foundation for years to come.
6) Have fun! – Life is about enjoying yourself and what you are doing to the fullest. Anything can be enjoyable with the right perspective, even the most uncomfortable moments. Like many an intelligent person (and dog) has said, you should never take yourself too seriously! A good sense of humour is definitely a key ingredient in the development of patience.
Remember, these aren’t things that happen overnight. They take time and yes, good ole’ patience, to make a regular habit. I always ask myself, what would my animals do? On that note, I think it might be time for some food and a nap!
To finish, I would like to say thank you and give gratitude to my new mare Diamond, who is teaching me daily about patience and how to cultivate it and is the inspiration for this little blurb.
Alexa Linton, is a Certified Bodytalk Practitioner, a Kinesiologist, Reiki Practitioner and an Equine Sport Therapist.